Blogging has become quite a phenomenon these days. Every other business wants to create a blog, because all the giants are doing it. According to Technorati , an estimated 175,000 new blogs and more than 1.6 million blog updates go live on the web every day.
This explosive growth doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon, so business owners should invest some time and energy into creating a unique and relevant blog for their business audience.
As opposed to the formal business website, blogs are more casual in nature and try to speak to the potential customer. They try to be an indirect outlet that is an amalgamation of customer service, marketing and problem solving.
Marriott on the Move is one of the leading blogs in the hotel industry. It is written with the first-hand perspective of CEO Bill Marriott and becomes a window to the ups and downs of the hotel business.
Their blog stays true to the spirit of the amazing host that Bill Marriott is, and this is what makes his business look even more attractive to the globetrotters from around the world.
When businesses post authentic information and anecdotes using a blog, chances are that the audience starts to relate to them and gives them brand value.
So if you want to build a cool brand persona by blogging, here are the necessary steps you need to take. With the right planning, your blog should be up and running in no time.
Please note that some of the links provided in this article may be affiliate links and we will earn commission if you buy their products through our links.
Find a Niche
As with Bill Marriott's blog, the niche is hotel business and everything about his life in that business. You also need to choose a blog niche.
It should definitely be aligned with your business category, but you can choose to do two things.
You could create a blog that shares the success stories of the business owner, or it could be a guidebook of things to do in that niche. Instagram, a photo sharing app, uses its blog to invite people to collaborate.
Just like on the app, people can take part in projects using hashtags, and their photos are uploaded to the Instagram blog. This way, their blog becomes a mirror of their vast community.
Register a Domain
You can run a blog in two ways:
- Host it on Wordpress or Blogger.com, or
- Run it on a self-hosted platform (which will require buying your own domain and hosting service)
Free blogging platforms like Blogger, Wordpress and Tumblr sound great, but since this is a business blog, you have to be serious about its name. It is better to go with self-hosting to run a good blog of yours.
Domain name will be the address of your blog, so choose wisely and be creative. Once you have thought about it, go to Godaddy or Name Cheap to register that domain. It is very cheap and easy to buy, $10.69/year at Name Cheap and $19.99/year at GoDaddy.
Newbies in this business can always start with a shared web hosting service. Blogs on a shared hosting will be sharing a server with a couple of other sites. The hosting capacity is lower than others, but you get to have it all in the price of $5 with no technical complications to begin with.
You can get an idea about managed web hosting here . Use a service that is fast, secure and reliable for your business. Hosting is a crucial decision, because it makes your blog stay afloat.
Also you can try BlueHost as it provides hosting as well as domain name services.
Wordpress is the preferred content management system of many pro-bloggers out there, simply because of its easy usability and that it requires no coding knowledge.
You can install Wordpress either by downloading files from Wordpress.org and manually uploading on your web host, or use an auto-installation process provided by your service.
If you want to do it manually, then visit Wordpress Codex, which has a step-by-step guide to install Wordpress.
See Also: How to Build a Functional Business Website with WordPress
Design Your Blog
Once you install Wordpress on your site, you will be welcomed to your admin page via a URL. In most cases, the URL will look like this:
Go to this URL and enter your username and password. Now you are in the admin area, and it is your blog domain. You will see a dashboard and post options to begin blogging.
See Also: How to Customize the WordPress Admin Dashboard
To design your blog, you can either take help from a professional service , or set a theme yourself. Many individual bloggers prefer ready-made themes which are easily available from the premium theme marketplace or by Wordpress.
They are both paid and free, depending on the quality of the theme. If you have just started blogging, you should adopt a ready-made theme for your blog which looks a lot like your main website, and then keep tweaking it along the way.
Make a Content Strategy
This is by far the most important thing to do when blogging nowadays. Content rules the internet like nothing else, so make sure you prepare lots of it. The best way to manage blog content is by preparing an editorial calendar.
Mark all the important events in monthly, weekly or daily plans. The more you manage your content, the easier it will be to keep blogging regularly.
"An editorial calendar is a virtual to-do list," says Angela Stringfellow on Unbounce. "It helps you be accountable to dates and concepts."
Drive Traffic To the Blog
Wordpress is a very SEO-friendly platform, but that doesn't mean you don't avail SEO benefits from your own optimization efforts.
Blogging can earn your website some frequent visitors and turn them into paying customers. Get targeted traffic to visit your blog from all channels like social media and Pay Per Click ads.
Targeted traffic is the goodness you want on your blog, because they will be information-hungry users you want to turn into customers.
See Also: 6 Effective Content Distribution Ideas to Increase Social Media Traffic
Brainstorm any and every keyword related to your business. Use these keywords on Wordpress for making your blog rank higher in the SERPs.
See Also: How to Create an Effective Keyword List for Growing Your Traffic & Revenue
Concentrate on long tail keyword phrases 3-4 words long. If your business is in one specific geography, that's a great way to target your keyword phrases.
You want to be choosing slightly more obscure keywords that are highly relevant to your business.
More obscure = easier to rank for = easier to get to the front page of Google.
Furthermore, obscure words will actually be more specific to your business and the types of products and services you provide. Both of these are key to driving quality traffic to your site. - Entrepreneur
See Also: Various Ways to Find Long-Tail Keywords for SEO
Measure Blog Analytics
Improvements will happen if you keep measuring the success of your blog posts and keep a close eye on Google Analytics.
Google Analytics will breakdown statistics on the basis of days, months and even years. Use this data to define successful campaigns, user likes and dislikes and run a better blog by using this information.
Keep doing the good work regularly. Choose posting frequency and stick to it. Daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly. Start with a lower frequency and then keep increasing it with an improved content calendar.
There is no recipe to succeed in blogging, but staying committed helps the case a lot.